Flex charters LNG quartet to Cheniere

Norway-based shipping firm Flex LNG will charter four vessels to a unit of US exporter Cheniere as part of a deal revealed on Wednesday.

There is an option for a fifth LNG carrier, according to the firm controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen.

Under the agreements, Flex LNG will employ newbuild Flex Vigilant, its thirteenth carrier, which will join Cheniere ex-yard in May 2021.

In addition, Flex LNG will deliver two of its existing carriers to Cheniere during the third quarter of this year, and a third existing LNG carrier during the third quarter of 2022.

Cheniere will have the option to add the fifth LNG carrier from Flex LNG’s existing fleet during the third quarter of 2022.

The firm charter period for each of the four initial LNG carriers is between three and three and a half years, with an option for Cheniere to extend each by up to two additional years.

Flex LNG’s chief Øystein Kalleklev said the agreements secure “attractive employment” for four, possibly five, of the company’s ships with a “first-class” charterer.

“Our large and energy efficient ships are particularly well suited for their long-haul trade and align with Cheniere’s efforts to secure required shipping capacity while improving the environmental performance of their overall fleet,” he said.

“Lastly, these contracts add substantial revenue backlog to our company which is in line with our communicated strategy of securing attractive term-employment for our ships when we think the time is right,” Kalleklev said.

All existing Flex LNG ships have a cargo capacity of about 173,400 to 174,000 cubic meters and feature dual-fuel two-stroke propulsion including MEGI and X-DF.

The time charter deals remain subject to final documentation and certain closing conditions in connection with the delivery and acceptance of the LNG carriers to Cheniere.

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